The Caddo Herald
January 16, 1914
Want Tax Money Back
Several parties have been working in Caddo this week for the purpose of getting people who have paid taxes on land that was exempt to sue the county to return the money. They propose that the individuals will have to do nothing about the court, and when the money is paid back, to pay one-fourth of it to the parties who brought the suit.
This is the money that was collected on land in Bryan County before the U. S. Supreme Court declared Indian land to be non-taxable. Something near $100,000 was thus wrongfully collected in Bryan County, to pay back which would require a bond issue or a heavy tax levy.
Legally, no doubt, the money can be collected because it was illegally levied, yet when a man has been convicted of a crime and served a number of years in the pen, and afterward is proven innocent, does the state pay him for his wasted years, his lost manhood, or the indignity he has suffered? While the court has decided this money was illegally collected, yet it was spent in such a way as to confer a benefit on the land on which the taxes were paid. Several bridges and many culverts were built in the county and many other benefits were received from the money. To repay this money will put the counties in hard shape for many years. The lands have received this benefit, have been enhanced far more in value that the taxes amounted to.
The Herald really thinks the money should be paid back, not by the county, but by the United States. Furthermore the national government in the future should pay to the counties and state an amount equal to what would have been collected from the non-taxable lands. The national government made the treaty and should fulfill its part of the contract.